Category Archives: 375th Anniversary

1600 BASH



On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Sandwich 375 Committee, congratulations and great thanks the 1600s BASH Team under the brilliant leadership of Bill Daley for a remarkable 1600 BASH, on May 18th!

Over a year of planning went into this event and with everything well planned, set and ready to go, everything had to be changed six days before the scheduled date due to the inclement weather forecasted for Saturday. But they made it happen with teamwork!

Our first BASH was amazing -lots of happy faces enjoying the 1600 BASH events and the beautiful weather that went with it! From what I heard, the team more than achieved their goals of educating, and entertaining while having fun doing it.

A number of the committee members deserve special thanks for the jobs that they performed.
Don Bayley, Jim Coogan and Bill Collins set up and took down tables, chairs and tents. They even loaded and unloaded the 600 pound Wampanoag boat!
Cecily Denson coordinated volunteers at the Hoxie house and had the New Plimmoth Gard set up at her home.
Desiree Mobed led a very entertaining Kids’ Zone.

Our wonderful re-enactors: Wendy King as Ruth Chipman Sargent, Doug Dexter as Tom Dexter, Tom Vincent as Constable Vincent, and Barbara Brann-Weir as Deborah Wing.

Jeff Duffany and Mike Welsh for bringing their 8th graders as volunteers and for helping out all day.
The 8th grade students, Boy Scouts and Key Club members who helped in the Kids’ Zone.

Sue Vibberts for organizing the Sandwich Police Academy members, who assisted with the parking and for giving up their time to benefit others.

Lastly, a special nod to John Cullity who adjusted his schedule to give his talk about the Society of Friends at the fascinating Quaker Meeting House.

We wish to also thank the good folks who demonstrated crafts, impersonated characters and supplied us with support; as well as to the town department heads and their staff who provided services and access to the Hoxie and Grist Mill.

Great team effort by all and much appreciated!
Cindy Russell, Chair
Sandwich 375 Committee


The Village was turned back in time to the 1600s.

HoxieHouse1stChurch29:30AM – 4PM First Church of Christ. Pilgrim Worship Service where participants will wear period clothing. Pastor Anne Cubbage and members of the Church have been coordinating with Paul Jehle, historic services coordinator at Aptuxet Trading Post, to replicate a Pilgrim Worship Service including an edited version of 17th Century sermon and period music. Following the Service, period foods will be offered during fellowship time. The historic church will be open for visitors until 4 PM with historical displays, including the 1675 Bell, and costumed docents.

10AM – 4PM Hoxie House – Open: Meet Rev. Smith at his home in 1675 while the New Plimmoth Gard militia demonstrates a pike and militia drill. They will have muskets, swords, drummers and a flag bearer. They will set up a camp site and display their military skills replicating the 1620-1640 period. Nearby, children learn games that were most likely played by Rev. Smith’s 13 children. Miles_StandishMiles Standish will arrive from Plymouth to inspect the conditions of the roads and to converse with Rev. Smith about attendance at the Meeting House.


10AM – 4PM Dexter Grist Mill – Open House: Thomas Dexter (portrayed by descendant Doug Dexter) will be at his mill, the Dexter Grist Mill, assisted by mill worker volunteers

10AM – 4PM: Matriarch Deborah Wing, a widow who arrived in 1637, will meet and greet visitors throughout the village and tell tales about her family.

Wampanoag10AM – 4PM Wampanoag Summer Camp at Town Hall Square Park: demonstrations of pottery making 2 – 4 pm, corn husk doll making 1 – 2 pm, “mishoon” boat burning 10:30 am – 3:30 pm, basketry or weaving 10 am – noon, wampum making 1 – 3:30 pm, interactive games 10 am – 1 pm and 2 – 4 pm, and authentic Wampanoag food provided by Sherry Pocknett of Sly Fox Den.

Noon – 4PM Quaker Meeting House – Open: Located at 6 Quaker Road Quaker and Spring Hill Roads, off Route 6A, East Sandwich. At 1PM John Cullity will talk about the Society of Friends and immediately following will be a tour of the Quaker burial ground.

1PM – 3PM: Stocks and Pillory in front of the Dan’l Webster: Constable Vincent (portrayed by descendent Tom Vincent) will be giving punishment to rowdy townsfolk.

10AM – 12PM and 2PM – 4PM: Ruth Chipman, widow of Richard Bourne and a very respected nurse in the 1600s, will be walking around the village

10AM – 4PM on the library lawn: demonstrations of 1600s crafts including basket making, spinning, weaving and wood turning.


View Photos:

(Photo Credits: Don Bayley, Bill Diedering, Linell Grundman, Samantha Hendy)


The 375th


Click the links below to view photos, videos and thank-yous for our past events:

NOTE: Some links may have expired or be slow to load from the internet archive.

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right_arm200BASH 1800s BASH 1900sBASH 1900s
Parade200x150GRAND PARADE HeritageDay200HERITAGE DAY
seafest200SEAFEST Talk-of-the-Town-200TALK OF THE TOWN


A recap of the Sandwich 375th Anniversary Celebration

–by Don Bayley

Teams with themes such as the Dewey Decimators, Downton Abbey and Sweet Tarts started it off with a bang. It was the Spring of 2013 and “Team Trivia Night” was one of several successful “FUNdraisers” in which the Sandwich community got together to prepare for the largest anniversary celebration ever in the history of Cape Cod’s oldest town.

Sandwich, founded in 1637, officially became a town in 1639, sending representatives to the General Court of Plymouth Colony. Three years ago, the Sandwich 375 Committee was formed to plan, fund, and host a variety of gatherings, concerts, speakers programs, festivals, artistic and educational endeavors, and museum exhibits throughout 2014, in celebration of our 375th anniversary. The celebratory events were designed for all Sandwich residents and their visitors to thoroughly enjoy and understand what makes Sandwich, Sandwich!

Other “FUNdraisers” included a world-class Golf Tournament featuring a Hole-In-One contest where the prize was a brand new Toyota. The winning foursome were awarded gorgeous, one of a kind, hand blown glass trophies by Sandwich master glassblower Michael Magyar. There was a one-woman show at Café Chew, two Historical Home Tours featuring private residences and another Trivia Night in the Fall where dozens of local merchants contributed prizes and packages for Trivia winners and a Silent Auction.

Fundraisers continued throughout 2014. We published our very popular book Sandwich 375 Years: Photos, Facts and Fables of Cape Cod’s Oldest Town by Don Bayley; Kathryn Kleekamp graciously donated her print of “Sandwich Village” for the sale of 375 signed and numbered posters of it. Betsy Lehrer and Photofabrication Engineering Inc. donated 200 beautiful metal ornaments of our logo. Melinda S. Gallant brilliantly directed Our Town by Thornton Wilder featuring Sandwich actors. Many logo hats and tee shirts were sold as well. Many sponsors stepped forward including: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Cape Cod Healthcare, the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department, the Enterprise Newspapers, Stop & Shop, Cape Cod Broadcasting, Kiwanis Club of Sandwich, Inc., Marshland Restaurants & Bakeries, NRG Energy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital – Cape Cod, Eastern Bank, Sea Tow, Cape Cod Five, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Cape Cod, Wicked Local and Atlantic Subaru.

On New Years Eve of 2013, the Sandwich 375th celebration began with a real bang: the boom of a canon shot over Shawme Pond and the lighting of the 375 Giant set up alongside Town Hall. As the festivities of “First Night Sandwich” were coming to a close, the year-long celebratory events of Sandwich’s 375th Anniversary were now about to begin! And thanks to all the Sponsors and FUNdraising most were free to be enjoyed by everyone.

Winter events included concerts by the All-Schools Band and “Sandwich Soul!” During YOUTH ART MONTH students wrote poems and created pictures in different art mediums that portrayed what Sandwich meant to them. The whole Town was turned into an Art Gallery: art was displayed in restaurants, stores, businesses, the library, Town Hall and even the Police Station.

MARCH FOR THE ARTS hosted five consecutive Sundays of artistic events. First – a concert at Town Hall highlighted a new generation of ukulele players. Second – drums, marimba, vibraphone, cymbals, gongs…even flower pots…were featured in a solo concert by renowned percussionist Amy Lynn Barber. Third – live theater: “If This Stage Could Talk” and “Our Town: Sandwich.” Fourth – “Arts in Action” featured 20 artisans creating their masterpieces. Fifth – the Cape Cod Chorale presented “Handel Spectacular.”

Also in the winter, the year-long TALK OF THE TOWN Speakers Series got underway with “Cape Cod and the War of 1812.” The Sandwich Glass Museum generously provided a venue for the series at their Hirschmann Theater. Other presentations in the series included the “History of the Cape Cod Canal,” “Cape Architecture,” “Colonial Herb Gardens,” “Sandwich During the Civil War,” “Petticoats at Sea,” “Daring Sea Rescues,” “A Visit from Thornton Burgess,” “American Folk Art” and “Traditions of the Christmas Season.” All lectures were free to attend and were fully attended.

In April, with thousands of daffodils blooming all over Sandwich, a grand DAFFODIL FESTIVAL was held at Oak Crest Park. It was a fun, family way to celebrate Spring. There were food trucks, gardening tips, plant sales, music, local artists and a Kids Zone.

The next day, the internationally famed “Irish Tenor” RONAN TYNAN filled the Sandwich High School auditorium with his amazing voice to everyone’s astonishment and joy.

In May, Miles Standish arrived from Plimouth as part of the “1600s BASH” (Bringing Alive Sandwich History). The First Church of Christ held a Pilgrim Worship Service where participants wore period clothing. There was a Wampanoag Summer Camp across from Town Hall and the Quakers held an open house at Spring Hill. The famous Grist Mill was open and operated by its original owner Thomas Dexter (portrayed by descendant Doug Dexter). Rev. Smith was at The Hoxie House (his home in 1675) where the New Plimmoth Gard demonstrated a pike and militia drill and kids played 1600 period games on the lawn.

HERITAGE DAY was in June with a March of over 200 Descendants of the original families, a special Twinning Proclamation with Sandwich U.K., student songs and poems and a visit from the Ten Men of Saugus–the founders of our town. In the afternoon at the High School there was a cupcake competition judged by celebrities including Sandwich residents Connie Chung and Maury Povich. There was music, entertainment, Wally the Green Monster and a baseball game with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League!

The June “BASH” day turned the town back into the 1700s with the British Red Coats coming to town and Sandwich Patriots erecting a Liberty Pole across from Town Hall. Minutemen camped out; there was cannon & gun firing; an historical “Geo-cache” scavenger hunt and, at Town Hall, Tories and Patriots fought it out in the play “The Body of the People.”

During the July 1800s BASH Civil War soldiers set up “Camp Chipman” at the Wing School and at Town Hall there was a moving re-enactment of the Commissioning of the Sandwich Guards with singing by the Cape Cod Chorale. A fabulous quilt show, wandering fiddlers, contra dancing, visits from Glass Factory founder Deming Jarves, Hannah Burgess (famous widow of a sea captain) and others completed the celebration.

At July’s SEAFEST there was something for everyone: the Coast Guard Cutter Tiger Shark, the high-tech Sandwich Fire Rescue boat, Shallop Elizabeth Tilley, the heroic Coast Guard Life Boat CG36500 and the pirate ship Formidable were open for tours at the Marina. There was an incredible art show hosted by the Artisans’ Guild of Cape Cod; a “Treasure Chest” of crafts, food and music; a kid’s tent; tour of the Coast Guard Station; a NAMA Seafood Throwdown and visits from sea captains of yesteryear. At night, an old-fashioned Clambake with dancing to the Moonlighters was held at Town Neck Beach.

WATER STREET WING FLING started off August with games, music, and shows; Lego land and inflatables entertained the kids. There were even Hot Air Balloons to ride! At night First Church was transformed into a magical Sandwich journey via PAINTSCAPING, the first ever 3D projection mapping on Cape Cod!

The Budweiser Clydesdales came to town in August, kicking off the 1900s BASH featuring a Cavalcade of Cars, tributes to local artist Dodge MacKnight and Sandwich’s own Dr. Beale. Judith Black performed “The Home Front,” capturing what it was like for a woman whose husband was away fighting in WWII. The day ended with a 1940s Block Party featuring the Cape Symphony Swing Band and the Snugtones.

The anniversary celebrations culminated with a GRAND PARADE the likes of which Sandwich has never seen before! There were 10 bands, classic cars, clowns, equestrian units and numerous floats and marching groups. One thousand marchers and 10,000 viewers!

At “First Night Sandwich” on New Years Eve of 2014, the year ended again with a bang, the boom of a canon over Shawme Pond. The lights on the Sandwich 375th Giant were extinguished and the 375th year of the Cape’s oldest town was history. But the biggest bang of all was the huge turnout of sponsors and over 500 volunteers who made this all possible. Thank You Sandwich!

The Sandwich 375 Committee thanks our volunteers, our sponsors and all the participating public for their support. We also thank Sandwich Community Television for recording our events so they can be enjoyed by all in the months and years to come.

TITLESWhat A Year It Was!

The 350th

(Cover of “Sandwich Through the Years” by Paul & Toni Mennett)
The Village Broadsider, August 12, 1987

Irving Freeman and sister Priscilla Freeman Rorstrom at the Sandwich 350th Anniversary Celebration. The Freemans are 12th generation descendents of Edmund Freeman who founded the Town of Sandwich. They are also 12th generation descendents of early settler Benjamin Nye.
The Village Broadsider, August 12, 1987

Historical Markers Part of Improvements Planned for Mill Creek Park.


Sandwich Okays Plan To Turn ‘Restroom Park’ Into Something More Memorable


A gift of flowers, benches and greenery popped up among the political brambles when a volunteer group offered to beautify a scruffy grove across from Sandwich Town Hall.

The news that volunteers wanted to spruce up the unadorned clearing, which is home to the village’s only public restrooms, was little heralded, coming one week before Town Meeting and the town election. The plan came before three of the five selectmen as well as the Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee recently. Both boards passed the plan unanimously.

When it is finished the park will provide a shady rest area for visitors. It will feature small brick patios, benches, flowering hedges, greenery, and bronze signs describing the histories of nearby landmarks, including town hall, First Church of Christ, the Dexter Grist Mill, and Mill Creek, which runs through the property. A bicycle rack is also planned for the park.

The volunteers are members of the Sandwich 375 Committee, which formed to organize last year’s big 375th birthday bash for the town. So successful were their fundraising efforts for the year-long celebration, they had money left over. With the help of several town staff and a cross-section of volunteers from other town advisory boards, the group came up with a design and a name—Mill Creek Park.

“Many visitors walk through Town Hall Square and look at our beautiful buildings but other than seeing them, there is no signage telling them what they are and their significance to our history,” said Cynthia M. Russell, spokesman for the 375 Committee, in her presentation. “Hence, we would like to install two cast bronze plaques, placed near each sitting area at an angle, that tell of the buildings. These signs can only be read from inside the park.”

The design and planning were the work of many people.

The 375 committee asked Colonial Brass of Taunton to make the cast bronze signs. The coating will develop a green patina as it ages, Ms. Russell said. Two members of the Sandwich Historical Commission wrote the text for the signs.

The benches will look like old-style wooden benches, but will actually be composite material suggested by town engineer Paul Tilton and town planner Blair Haney. David J. DeConto, assistant director of natural resources, also consulted on the project.

BJ’s Lawncare & Landscaping of Forestdale will put the signs and the landscaping in place with the help of volunteers from the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce. Mary Bowker, president of the Sandwich Garden Club, will supervise the planting work. Ms. Bowker, along with Donna and Jeff Kutil of Scenic Roots Garden Center, chose the low-maintenance plants.

“They have selected hydrangeas, summer sweet and winterberry plants for their disease and pest resistance, heat tolerance, and ready adaptation to different soil types as well as their beauty spring through fall when Mill Creek Park is most used by visitors and the community,” Ms. Russell wrote in her presentation.

Tree warden Justin O’Connor suggested that two Norway maples be removed and replaced with Stewartia and two flowering trees.

“Stewartia trees are slow-growing, all-season performers that show off fresh green leaves in the spring, white flowers resembling single camellias in summer, colorful foliage in the autumn, and exfoliating bark in the winter that creates a beautiful spectacle after leaves fall,” Ms. Russell said.

The town will install a watering system that will be needed for only the first few years. After the low-maintenance plants have been established, nature will take over and the watering system will no longer be needed, Ms. Russell said.

“The challenge of planting in the park is significant due to the present lack of water, deep shade, the condition of the soil and long-term maintenance,” Ms. Russell said. “But we believe with the choices of plants, short-term irrigation, enriched plant soil and removal of trees, these plants have an excellent opportunity to thrive and be enjoyed.”

The three selectmen (Susan R. James, Peter M. Beauchemin and Ralph A. Vitacco), who attended the meeting at which the plan was approved, thanked Ms. Russell, the town staff and all the volunteers for their efforts.

“This is a great example of the town and the businesses coming together to leave a lasting monument,” Mr. Vitacco said.

The committee chose Mill Creek Park as the name because it “acknowledges the heritage and beauty of the area by recognizing the historic grist mill and the natural creek upon which the park is located,” Ms. Russell said. “The beautification of this park speaks to our mission statement as it embraces the town’s rich culture, proud heritage and pristine beauty,” Ms. Russell said. “We cannot thank these people and businesses enough because due to their guidance, expertise and spirit of community, the Sandwich 375 Committee legacy gift to the town will truly be a delightful place year-round for residents and visitors to use and enjoy for many years. “

Here’s a brief history of the park area that was included in Ms. Russell’s presentation:

“Mill Creek Park celebrates the historical fact that the Dexter Grist mill was able to operate because the water from the dammed up pond flowed into this creek.

“The mill was built in 1640, giving farmers in this agricultural community the means to turn their corn crop into flour, which provided sustenance for the population for more than 200 years.

“From spring-fed Shawme Pond and down the herring run, Mill Creek also brought economic prosperity to Sandwich by powering many businesses such as the Tag Factory and the Shoe Factory.

“Today, it brings visitors to see it wind through rich marshland and flow under the famous Sandwich boardwalk to the Old Harbor where the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory was built by Deming Jarves in 1825.

“The name ‘Mill Creek’ recognizes the importance of both the mill and the creek to the Sandwich residents and visitors for the past 375 years.”

Download Complete Proposal

RELATED STORY: A Name for the Park at 135 Main Street

A Name for the Park at 135 Main Street

by Cindy Russell

135 Main Street has been privately owned from 1639 until 1963 when Town Meeting voted “to purchase a certain parcel of land located at Main Street, at Town Hall Square, owned by Manuel and Leona R. Jacinto for $14,000.

Bill Daley and Don Bayley, members of the Sandwich Historical Commission, spent many hours researching the property in the archives and even spoke to Barbara Gill about the property. Their research found:

(Click for Larger View)

1. 1839 John Warner Barber drawing of Town Hall with historian Russell Lovell stating “This is the only view found showing the early Calvinistic chapel on the site of the present First Church of Christ. The smaller buildings in the left foreground are a blacksmith shop, the building (Spite Barn) that was to become part of the glass museum and lastly the Fred Bunker museum.
There is a story that Melatiah Bourne had a small barn near the Calvinistic chapel and made it a point to stir the animals when services were going on. This became known as “The Spite Barn” and part of town legend. This barn building was later moved across Main Street and then over the millstream and is incorporated into today’s Sandwich Glass Museum.

1857 Map showing Carriage Shop on Mill Creek across from Town Hall (Click for Larger View)

2. 1857 Sandwich Village Map shows the property to have a carriage shop.

3. 1880 Sandwich Village Map shows a shoe factory.

4. 1950 aerial view shows a garage.

Sandwich historian Jonathan Shaw remembers a house and foundation there that were demolished. At one time, he visited that house – where some friends of his were living. “It was a tall, rather ugly and awkwardly sited house and it was a stroke of genius that the Town bought the lot.”

Some may argue that it should be called Town Hall Park. However, Town Hall was not built until 1834 and the creek had been a vital component of the town for more than two centuries by the time the hall was built.

So why name the park “Mill Creek Park?” This name acknowledges the heritage and beauty of the area by recognizing the historic grist mill and the natural creek upon which the park is located. Mill Creek Park celebrates the historical fact that the Dexter Grist mill was able to operate because the water from the dammed up pond flowed into this creek. The mill was built in 1640 and it gave the farmers in this agricultural community the means to turn their corn crop into flour which provided sustenance for the population for more than 200 years.

Postcard ca. 1915 showing Town Hall, Grist Mill, Tag Factory and Shoe Factory on Shawme Pond (Click for Larger View)

From spring-fed Shawme Pond and down the herring run, Mill Creek also brought economic prosperity to Sandwich by powering many businesses such as the Tag Factory and the Shoe Factory. Today, it brings visitors to see it wind through rich marshland and flow under the famous Sandwich boardwalk to the Old Harbor where the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory was built by Deming Jarves in 1825.

The name “Mill Creek” recognizes the importance of both the mill and the creek to the Sandwich residents and visitors for the past 375 years.

(Photos courtesy Sandwich Town Archives)

RELATED STORY: Historical Markers Part of Improvements Planned for Mill Creek Park

The 10 Men of Saugus

“The year 1637 marks the era of the first English settlement on the Cape. The settlement at Sandwich was projected by Mr. Edmund Freeman and others who, April 3 of this year, obtained a grant from the Colony of Plymouth and at once with a large number of families from Lynn, Duxbury and Plymouth but chiefly from Lynn, the ancient Saugus, removed to the location designated. The settlement was begun this year under very favorable auspices although it was not regularly incorporated as a town until about two years after.

“Touching this settlement the following record appears: ‘April 3, 1637, it is also agreed by the Court that these ten men of Saugus, viz., Edmund Freeman, Henry Feake, Thomas Dexter, Edward Dillingham, William Wood, John Carman, Richard Chadwell, William Almy, Thomas Tupper, and George Knott shall have liberty to view a place to sit down, and have sufficient lands for threescore families, upon the conditions propounded to them by the governor and Mr. Winslow.‘”
(from: The History of Cape Cod: The Annals of Barnstable County …, Volume 1
By Frederick Freeman)










DSCN7172Click each name below to read a transcript of speeches given at the Sandwich 375th anniversary celebration in 2014.




(portrayed by Mark Pommrehn)

(portrayed by Bill Powell)

(portrayed by David Schrader)

(portrayed by Doug Dexter)

(portrayed by Jeff Miller)

(portrayed by Bill Imes)

(portrayed by Irving Freeman)

(portrayed by Raymond Tobey)

(portrayed by Paul Williams)

(read by Kaethe Maguire; William Wood was her 9th Great Grandfather)